About The River

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Conifers

Are winter's grays giving you the blues? It's time to check out some evergreens!
Pines, spruces, cedars, and their relatives make up an important tree family. They're conifers, trees with cones to hold their seeds. Most conifers have special leaves that are narrow and pointed like needles or are flat like scales. And most are evergreens - they stay green all year round.
Needles or scales? Does the tree have thin needles or flattened, scale-like leaves.
Single or bundles? If the tree has needles, do they come out of the stem one by one? Or are they bundled together in groups?
What shape? If you roll the needle between your fingers, does it feel round, flat, or square-shaped?
Kinds of cones? Look for some cones on the tree or on the ground beneath it. Are they big or small? Long and thin, short and round, or some other shape?
Some Tree Hints
A spruce - has prickly square-shaped needles that grow one by one all around the branch.
A fir - has cones that stick up from the top of the branches.
A hemlock - has short, flat needles that stick out on two sides of the branch. Its cones hang down from the branch tips.
A juniper - has a cone that looks more like a berry. But it is still a conifer.
Now you know some clues...go grab a tree guide and find what conifers grow in your area. A fun winter activity. Enjoy the beauty that God gives us in all  seasons.

Information given regarding conifers by Ranger Rick Dec/Jan 2011

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